August 6th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
In true stretch-out-the-celebrations style, today’s featured couple made a full weekend of their nuptials, with a pre-wedding meal on the Friday evening for their families and the bridal party, the big event on the Saturday and a party for all their guests on the Sunday, which included a chilly dip in Lake Windermere. That’s one way to shake off the fuzzy head the morning after the night before!
Having chosen a spectacular setting, Tom and Zoe didn’t need to go overboard with their decorations but an elegant blush pink and navy colour scheme, using an abundance of real and faux flowers to dress the rooms and slate on the tables as a nod to the local area. We love their idea for favours too – s’mores to toast on the outdoor fire pit, both sociable and delicious!
The bride, who delivered her own speech, wore a beautiful, strapless sweetheart gown with a mermaid skirt in tulle and lace and a beaded waist, offering a gorgeous silhouette for plenty of romantic lakeside photos. Ultimately, it’s the huge smile on both their faces that really make the photographs sing – as Zoe sagely advises; if you remember your wedding is all about you as a couple, it will show through in your day!
With images by Amy Jordison Photography.
zoe says: We got engaged on 12th February 2017. Tom had taken me to Berlin to celebrate my birthday; we had a great few days away, drinking lots of German beer and touring the city. When we came back, we went up to our flat and outside the door Tom said he had one more surprise for me. I thought it was going to be something for my birthday like some flowers or a little present, so when he made me put on a blindfold, I thought he was just playing up the surprise. We went into the flat and he left me waiting in the hallway for a couple of minutes before finally telling me I could come into the lounge. I walked in and the room was full of balloons and on the balloon strings were little pictures of us. I initially thought they were for my birthday until I saw a ring in the box on the table, along with a collage of all the anniversary and birthday cards we had given each other over the years. Tom got down on one knee and it was the biggest surprise of my life. Tom has always been disappointed as I am really good at guessing what my presents are, but I had no idea about this one – which was amazing! (How did the balloons get there? His mum and dad had come round earlier that day and done the whole thing: got my favourite flowers and put prosecco and strawberries in the fridge!)
We got married on 23rd June 2018. I wanted a winter wedding originally, but Tom was set on a summer wedding; when I realised a June wedding would mean peonies, I was more than happy to go along with what he wanted!
We got married at Silverholme Manor in the Lake District and had our reception in a marquee in the grounds. When you see the pictures of Silverholme, there’s no question that you’d want to get married there. The views are insane, the house is huge, and it meant all our family could stay in one place for the whole weekend. The day after we saw it, Tom said to me we should get married there and I was so happy!
I would recommend Silverholme to other couples as it is breathtakingly beautiful. It allows your nearest and dearest to be close by and you can really make a weekend of it. We stayed from Thursday to Monday and it felt like the most amazing holiday with both of our families and best friends. We didn’t leave the grounds for the entire weekend! Alex, the events coordinator, is so attentive; she is on hand if you need anything. It’s just such a fantastic place to be. We are hoping to be able to go back with all our family for our fifth (or maybe tenth) wedding anniversary.
We wanted to try and use a lot of local suppliers and we used slate for our centrepieces as it reminds me of the Lake District. I wanted a lot of flowers but a really relaxed vibe. Everyone commented on how relaxed the wedding was, which was great.
The colour scheme was blush pink and navy. I had always wanted navy bridesmaid dresses, but my sister beat me to it (she got married the year before) so I decided blush pink would be nice with the navy suits as it was light and summery.
My dress was from Lulu Browns in Whalley. They are amazing! Everyone I know has bought their dress from them and there’s a reason they all do. The staff are friendly and make you feel so comfortable. The dress I chose was Olva by Modeca. It was a strapless gown with a lovely lace train.
Tom wore a suit from Debenhams. The staff in Debenhams in Wigan were fantastic. We were originally going to rent the suits but they didn’t work with Tom’s frame so we decided to buy them. The groomsmen and dads wore the same suits as Tom from Debenhams. They all live around the country and so it meant they could all pop into their local Debenhams to try on the suit before we ordered it, which was so helpful! They also wore some very fetching pink socks with pineapples on that we picked up in Matalan. It was a nice casual/amusing touch.
The bridesmaids wore blush pink dresses from Monsoon. They were so flattering! They were midi length with a lace overlay. I was really pleased with them; the girls looked absolutely fab!
Our hair was done by Zico and his team from Bang & Loop in Wigan. Zico had been my hairdresser for a few months and so I asked him to travel to the Lakes to do our hair. My hair was a simple Hollywood curl and the girls had theirs half up, half down with a plait and fresh flowers.
Our makeup was done by Make-up by Alice, based in Ulverston. Alice is great fun and just lovely to have around on the morning of your wedding. She is really flexible, working to everyone’s own style from my 17-year-old sister to my mum, and everyone looked beautiful!
We arranged transport through CBA Events for the guests staying at the courtyard. They had a Defender and Land Rover taking them to and from the wedding, which was really appropriate for a Lake District countryside wedding.
Our photographer was the lovely Amy Jordison. Amy is so lovely; she is relaxed and specialises in documentary-style photography (or ninja photography as Tom would say). We didn’t want too many posed or forced photos and Amy was perfect for this. We love the photos we received and would definitely recommend her to other brides and grooms.
We got the bridal party flowers from Stems Floral Design in Blackburn. Helen, the owner, is fantastic and got our vibe in our first meeting. My bouquet was full of pink roses with bits of foliage and gyp. It was the perfect size for me, as I made it very clear I wanted to be able to hold it in one hand. The girls had gypsophila bouquets, which looked great with their dresses, and the boys and our mums had buttonholes with pink roses and gyp.
We did our own flowers in the reception and ceremony rooms. In the ceremony room we wanted to keep it minimal as there were a lot of people in there. We liked that the coach house was a blank canvas, so it didn’t want too much decoration. We used silk flowers on the ceremony table and on the end of the rows. In the marquee we had a faux flower and ivy hanging piece, which we made ourselves. We also had fresh ivory roses and pink peonies with a bit of gyp in Hendricks and blue Bombay Sapphire bottles on the tables with lots of candles. We bought the flowers from Tesco.
For favours, we did s’mores – everyone got chocolate biscuits and marshmallows to roast on the fire pit. They went down really well! The fire pit was also provided by CBA Events. It was a really nice touch; as the weather was lovely, it meant everyone could sit outside and toast their marshmallows.
The cake was made by Treats of St Annes. It was a delicious, simple vanilla sponge cake with raspberry jam. It was completely plain in cream buttercream and the florist made a lovely flower topper. I also bought a personalised wooden cake topper that said Mr and Mrs Glithero.
Our catering was done by Campbell and Rowley. We had giant pork pies and big wheels of cheese presented on vintage glass cake stands instead of traditional canapés, followed by Cumberland sausages and mash with seasonal greens and gravy. For dessert, we had a dessert table full of the wedding cake, homemade brownies baked by me and my mother-in-law, a huge fully loaded chocolate cake by Treats of St Annes, and cookies and doughnuts that we bought from Booths in Ulverston. We provided lots of lager and prosecco during the reception drinks and we had pinot grigio and tempranillo on the tables during the meal.
For entertainment, we used Peter Hill. He did all our music, from pre-ceremony to disco. He is a great singer, so did a swing set during our reception drinks, and got the energy levels up after the meal with a bit of napkin waving and some singalong. He was great and played such a variety of music that there was something for everyone.
We made a weekend of our wedding. On the Friday, we had a great meal with our immediate family and bridal party. Campbell and Rowley supplied an amazing Nandos-style chicken with salads and potatoes and we got Cartmel sticky toffee pudding for dessert! We also invited all our guests back to Silverholme for a barbecue and an (optional) swim in the lake on the Sunday. We swam, watched England play in the World Cup, went for a walk along Lake Windermere, ate barbecue (again catered by Campbell and Rowley), played rounders and had a wonderful ice cream bike provided by Hales of Cartmel. I would definitely recommend Hales if other brides wanted something special and unique at their wedding. Everyone loved the ice creams. They catered for the gluten-free and lactose-free guests and the choice of flavours they have in their shop is insane! They let us come along for an ice cream tasting as we struggled to choose. My personal favourite was the apple crumble. I’ll definitely be popping in for one of those next time I’m in Cartmel.
Choosing a favourite part of the day is really difficult. I loved every minute of it. I think some highlights for me would obviously be the ceremony; it was relaxed and informal and the ladies from Kendal Register Office made us feel at ease. The readings went down really well; we had The One read by my little sister and bridesmaid and a slightly amended version of He Never Leaves the Seat Up read by Tom’s groomsman. I also loved making my speech. I liked having the opportunity to speak to the whole room and thank them all for being there along with some heartfelt thanks to both of our families. And, of course, the disco was great fun. We wanted to have a big party with all our favourite people and that is exactly what it was. The day went smoothly and was just exactly what we wanted it to be.
For our honeymoon, we went to La Reunion for a few nights where we did some hiking up the volcano and canyoning down the waterfalls, then headed to Mauritius for eight nights, staying at the Ravenala Attitude. It was the perfect balance of relaxation and adventure. We paddle-boarded every day, ate in every restaurant and relaxed on the beach and by the pool.
My top tip for other Brides Up North is to really think about what wedding you want. Don’t worry about what other people will think. I know that people thought we were ‘doing too much’ or ‘doing the wrong things’ because they couldn’t see the bigger picture but, in the end, everyone could see it all came together and was worth it. I like to be organised and have things written down, so make lots of lists, talk to lots of different suppliers and don’t rush into booking the first one you see. Just remember it’s all about you as a couple and it will come through in your day.
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Aislinn has a background in journalism, having filled all manner of publishing roles from editor to copywriter to feature writer. She is a former wedding photographer who ran her own business with her husband Michael. Together, they have travelled as far as Australia to photograph a client’s wedding (and spent all their earnings on a campervan trip up the Aussie coast!). Aislinn left wedding photography behind to take on the biggest commitment of her life as mummy to her young son Tom. She has been a bride, bridesmaid and even best woman (she has the speech to prove it!), which is almost all angles covered!
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